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Gnarled Orange Trees


by

Catalina22

 Genre: Electropop

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Description
I recently received a MIDI controller due to the awesome generosity of a relative stranger, and have been noodling around with it almost every day. I have found that ditching loops makes writing computer music a WHOLE different ballgame. It has taken me weeks and weeks to construct something that doesn't make me cringe. In the beginning, with no keyboard, I didn't realize how heavily I'd come to rely on loops. Loops make stuff sound cool. It is a MUCH more formidable challenge to create something sorta cool without relying on loops--at least for me.

This song has two minor loops--the boom-boom bass drum (I couldn't get a deep enough bass sound with the keyboard), and the tambourine percussion (again, I wasn't happy with the tambourine sound on the keyboard). The rest of the tracks are created with the controller.

All forms of gnarly trees are my new obsession. Hence the title.

I would eventually like to add some vocals or even spoken-word poetry, but, ya know, just when I get brave enough to try singing, I get stricken with a nasty virus and lose my voice for weeks! It's slowly on the mend, and I may try some vocals soon.

This is the first song I made with the controller, without depending on loops, that didn't make me embarrassed. I don't know. Perhaps it should LOL. In any case, I just feel so delighted with the controller and how it's completely changed making music for me. So fun! Thanks!
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Song Stats
Hits: 2738
Comments: 61
Fans: 26
Plays: 118
Downloads: 61

Uploaded: Oct 08, 2010 - 07:26:16 AM
Last Updated: Oct 08, 2010 - 07:26:16 AM Last Played: Jan 30, 2017 - 01:11:26 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
MIDI Controller MK-4902
Software:
Garage Band
Comments
crissew said 2568 days ago (October 8th, 2010)
Orange Trees
Cool song. Sounds like you have fun making this one! Good job.
Check out my latest song called Dollar Store Christmas w/ Jerry Rissew
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
Fun Fun
Thanks a bunch! Yeah, it was really fun and scary (without loops) at the same time! Thanks for the listen. :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
fasteddie said 2568 days ago (October 8th, 2010)
Nice progression
This progresses very nicely.

I like the chord structure. The arpeggios work well too.

It does sound like you had a lot of fun. This will sound great with vocals.
Check out my latest song called On Borrowed Time
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
Thanks!
For listening and for the comment. I was so crazy worried about those arpeggios because they were not loops so I didn't think they would sound very good. So Thanks! :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
Sir Bass said 2568 days ago (October 8th, 2010)
Cool
I feel ya, on your description. You did quite well.
Check out my latest song called Happiness Happenis
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
Thanks so much
I really appreciate your stopping by. Yep, moving away from pre-fabricated loops is a big step! Thanks again. :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
Symphony101 said 2568 days ago (October 9th, 2010)
Waw
Very good work ! Loved it.
Check out my latest song called Standing On The Brink (w/ Mosaica)
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
Thanks So Much!
I'm so glad you stopped by and liked it! Thanks again. :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
VicDiesel said 2567 days ago (October 9th, 2010)
Excellent
If you don't have loops, you have to worry about every little sound yourself. Scary, but also much more creative.

I like this track. You build it up very nicely, and you use good sounds. Cool chords. A worthy inauguration for your new controller.
Check out my latest song called Black Recorder
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
Inauguration!
You wouldn't BELIEVE how many songs I wrote with the controller--sans loops--before I halfway liked one! Man, it was just drafting and drafting and drafting. I must have written something every single day that I was unhappy with, but it's all part of the process, right?

Thanks so much for stopping in and for your input! Much appreciated. :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
RAVENS said 2567 days ago (October 9th, 2010)
Very Cool
I really like the way the track progresses. It has a nice 80's vibe to it, which I love. Great stuff!

RAVEN ;-)
Check out my latest song called Tattooed Scars (w/ Sigmund, Scofugate, Rok41)
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
80s Vibe
Thanks Raven! That is so funny! I can't seem to get away from the 80s!!!!!! AAAAGH! J/K I guess there are some merits to 80s music. Thanks and can't wait to listen to your latest as well!

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
dancedivine said 2567 days ago (October 9th, 2010)
Cool....
This has a nice build too it... Keep it up!
Check out my latest song called Drive These Blues Away - Remastered
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
Thank you!
For listening and for the input! I sure appreciate it. :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
drakonis said 2566 days ago (October 10th, 2010)
Music without a net...
What a thrill it is... life without loops is indeed liberating and scary... welcome to the world of gnarly twists and turns! I think you twisted this into something wonderful, and just like a knob of oak, your bark is more beautiful than your bite.

I love the synth sounds you chose and the use of echo to stretch the notes, and the chord progressions are nice. I could see this accompanying some of my photos of gnarly trees :-)

ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
Catalina22 said 2563 days ago (October 13th, 2010)
So nice . . .
. . . to have you back in the neighborhood!!! Your thoughtful comments and insights are so appreciated. Gotta love those gnarly trees! One of the infinite things in life that make the world beautiful, I think.

I love your puns, too, BTW. :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
morgan102 said 2542 days ago (November 4th, 2010)
Nice 80's feel
Yeah this does have a nice 80's feel to it and I like the way it kind of glides.
Check out my latest song called 2017
Catalina22 said 2509 days ago (December 6th, 2010)
Thanks!
for stopping by and the comment! :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
alfredthepelican said 2528 days ago (November 17th, 2010)
Thanks Cortney
Has a cool "bounce" and nice mixture of voices and melodies. Thanks for download.
Cheers
Mark
Check out my latest song called Now Is The Hour Late
Catalina22 said 2509 days ago (December 6th, 2010)
Thanks Mark!
I don't know about this one . . . the more I listen to it, the less I like it. But, nevertheless, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment and for stopping by! :)

Cortney
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
ShadowofNine said 2508 days ago (December 7th, 2010)
Yaaa !
Luv the way this builds and takes on a Euro sort of feel, tempo and rhythm are just right, Bravo really dig this track....
Check out my latest song called Gone (with Eagle)
Catalina22 said 2508 days ago (December 7th, 2010)
Thanks!
Thanks for your comments and for stopping in to listen! I like the "Euro" reference--thank you!
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
867-5309 said 2507 days ago (December 8th, 2010)
changes
I noticed the changes - which are nice here -
It also would be good as runway accompanyment -but it is almost too good for that.
I love to climb oak trees and they do not cut you as you go up - even though - I think they
are the gnarliest.
'loving it a lot ! ***
the way it works up into a controlled frenzy !!!!!
Check out my latest song called Taking Care Of Business
Catalina22 said 2504 days ago (December 11th, 2010)
Much thanks!
Runway music--nice! I like that. Thanks so much for your listen and delightful comments! I did not realize oak trees do not splinter as you climb them--when spring rolls around, and it is time to climb trees again, I shall look for oaks. Thanks again! :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
paul f. page said 2505 days ago (December 10th, 2010)
a vocal or instrumental line...
would really work well with this wonderful soundbed you have created here. The SOUND of what you recorded is tremendously satisfying, building as it does from almost nothing at the beginning to the rich additions that blossom out of that initial exposition. The "blocks" sound just great...Ending is so abrupt. A long fade would work well. ... Looking forward to hearing more of your things.
Check out my latest song called 124
Catalina22 said 2504 days ago (December 11th, 2010)
It IS Abrupt--Thanks!
Yes, I listened again just now and that ending is very abrupt. I believe that next time I tweak this piece, I will implement your suggestion of the fade-out. Thanks! I have a big problem with abrupt endings. Isn't that a metaphor for life LOL. But seriously, I need to pay more attention to that.

Your comments just made my day--so thoughtful and perceptive. I'm really gad you stopped by for a listen. Thanks so much!
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
Elevator_Funk said 2504 days ago (December 11th, 2010)
...
sounds good to me... Midi is fun but tough. I write completely different songs than when I write with the instruments I am used to. I think you must have to totally dedicate yourself to the style to get good at it. Looking forward to hearing more.
Check out my latest song called Dumb Funky
Catalina22 said 2504 days ago (December 11th, 2010)
So true!
MIDI IS a little bit tricky. Very different from cutting and pasting loops, that's for sure! My playlist in iTunes for these songs without loops is called "Practice Practice Practice", for good reason. Thanks so much for listening and commenting. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
ste said 2504 days ago (December 11th, 2010)
the
cheeky little bass is great. good fun
Check out my latest song called songbreak
Catalina22 said 2503 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
Thanks Ste!
I have really enjoyed your work so far. "Cheeky little bass" is just priceless--one of the best comments I've gotten yet!! Thanks for the listen and the comment. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
falcef said 2504 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
Gnarled Orange Trees
Hello beautiful song with sounds and special effects, good arpeggio strings and the rhythm. Hello from falcef.
Check out my latest song called My Egon
Catalina22 said 2503 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
Hi Falcef!
Good to see you again! Once again, I very much appreciate your kind comments. Thank you so much for stopping in and taking the time to listen! :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
lavalamp said 2503 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
Sounds good
RE: Vocals- You could always heavily effect the vox at first if you're uncomfortable singing. And little by little you will build confidence. Try it.

Like how you put this together.

LL
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
Catalina22 said 2503 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
Thanks Again
That's a really good suggestion; I've actually started playing around with heavy-handed effects on vocals recently, to kind of "disguise" the sound of my voice. Part of my problem with vocals right now, in addition, is lack of a good mic. I'm sort of stuck with the Mac built-in mic right now, and as many people on MJ know, this is very unsatisfactory. I've been putting out feelers for a USB mic, but much appreciated the recent forum thread on vocal mics. Instead, as per VicDiesel's advice, I believe I will get a regular mic with an interface. Anyhow, blah, blah, blah, but, in a nutshell, part of my problem is that my laptop mic SUCKS.

Thanks for listening and taking the time to give some input; I really appreciate that. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
richard13 said 2503 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
Congratulations!
I know how hard it is to let go of the loops and strike out on your own, musically I mean. As I did (and do) you use a few loops for rhythm tracks or for a sound you can't achieve otherwise, but more and more, it's just you and the keyboard. Scary, but much more satisfying when it works out.
Cheers.
Check out my latest song called one last night with you
Catalina22 said 2501 days ago (December 14th, 2010)
Striking Out
I try to noodle around in GB at least a little bit every day, to keep my creative juices flowing, and it is precisely as you said . . . I find I often use loops in a limited way, and then rely more and more on the controller.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to listen!
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
awigze said 2503 days ago (December 12th, 2010)
I like
The exploratory nature of this and the build up of ideas. This must have been fulfilling to you as a musician.
Check out my latest song called Sometime Tomorrow
Catalina22 said 2501 days ago (December 14th, 2010)
Yeah . . .
. . . . it was fulfilling and scary at the same time! I still don't like it much, but I haven't come up with anything since that I like enough to post on MJ. I'm still plugging away! Thanks for the listen and comment. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
bud said 2502 days ago (December 13th, 2010)
Simply delightful
great textures and bounce (bounce is my new word) - love the freedom you're expressing in this piece - it's a really fun journey. Cool post.
Check out my latest song called Interdependence
Catalina22 said 2501 days ago (December 14th, 2010)
Thanks Bud!
That's funny because I'm finding that "bounce" is slipping into my MJ vocabulary on a more and more frequent basis! :)

Thank you so much for your kind comments and for stopping by to listen!
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
that80sboy said 2502 days ago (December 13th, 2010)
very nice
really like the way this moves....vocals over this would be very cool....
Check out my latest song called stargazer
Catalina22 said 2501 days ago (December 14th, 2010)
Vocals . . .
Yes, I think so too. IF I DIDN'T HATE THE SOUND OF MY SINGING SO @#*$ MUCH!!!!!!! I was trying to record some vocals for lyrics for a Christmas song I wrote recently and I hated the result so much. I'm going to have to get used to the sound of my own singing first . . .

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comments! :)


Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
michael2 said 2501 days ago (December 14th, 2010)
nice
i am liking this. getting into writing your own MIDI can be a bit scary at first. but this is a total success. almost reminds me of the Pet Shop Boys (who I love), with a couple of winks to classical music.

personally I have no problem with loops, but I don't use them much. that said, whatever it takes to make your music how you feel it should be. great track.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
Catalina22 said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
Thanks Michael!
It has been scary and exciting all at once to transition to MIDI! I imagine I'm not entirely over my use of loops, and I agree with you--I have no problem with using loops. I just really enjoy the challenge, musically, of "baking from scratch" so to speak. Thanks for your wonderful comments; so glad you enjoyed it. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
H3nry said 2501 days ago (December 14th, 2010)
Loops are useful
as starting points and inspiration on those days you just can't hear music in your head when you sit down. Start messing with a couple of loops, embroider, add lines, alter or replace the loops. But now you are free. If that's too scary, set limits, like making a round, or a blues which has a defined form you must follow. At least that's what I'm trying.
Check out my latest song called Eighty-Three
Catalina22 said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
Thanks!
That is fantastic advice, and a fun way to think about loops--they sort of "grease the creative gears", in a way. Thanks for stopping in and commenting! :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
Honza said 2500 days ago (December 15th, 2010)
Happy
What I like most about all the 80s early new age and electropop stuff - all the dreaminess and happy funny sounds. You did it pretty well and it sounds almost as retro as the good old elektro styles. I do not know whether it was your intention, but you can be proud of the result whatever you intended it to be. Praise the controller!
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Catalina22 said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
Thanks!
I didn't really have any objectives or intentions when I set out to do this; all I could really do was just play around and see what happened. Yes! Praise the controller! A whole new world, yep! You hit the nail on the head about 80s electropop . . . "dreaminess and happy funny sounds." I'm totally okay with that! Thanks for listening and taking the time to comment. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
BlueLikeJazz said 2499 days ago (December 16th, 2010)
80's Synth
Reminscent of New Order. Great band. This definitely needs lyrics. I can hear the melody in my head.

Something very emotional.

If you want any additional help/advice/input or even collaboration Im always willing to throw down.
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Catalina22 said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
New Order
That's a very generous reference; thank you so much! Yes, I've been slowly entertaining the idea of lyrics with this . . . we shall see. Thanks again for taking the time to listen and comment. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
egobandit said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
gnarly
SOunds sort of epic in a way Nice build up and chord changes, its great when you can push your skills and see what comes of it. The drums at the end sound lke they are a bit out of time but I like that! Cool work!
Check out my latest song called You Can Try
Catalina22 said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
The drums . . .
. . . are very much out of time towards the end; you are correct. Drives me nuts every time I listen to it--arg!!! Something to fix. Thanks once again for listening and commenting, and I'm glad you liked the chord changes, because that's probably one of the things I really am happy with so far on this one. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
Diviner said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
I know how you feel
about moving from loops to midi. I had to do that, and every so often I still use the odd loop, so don't feel too bad. This is really good, and you are only going to get better. Well done.
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Catalina22 said 2498 days ago (December 17th, 2010)
Odd Loops . . .
. . . definitely can add much to a piece. Glad you understand; it's very different to move from loops to MIDI. Thank you so much; I'm really glad you listened and liked it. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
Vic Holman said 2477 days ago (January 7th, 2011)
gnarly!
this is pretty dang cool. everything comes together really nicely.

excellent composition
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Catalina22 said 2476 days ago (January 8th, 2011)
Thank you!
I'm so glad you liked it . . . this was deceptively hard to put together. Thanks! :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
blaky smith said 2461 days ago (January 23rd, 2011)
Cool
Great post. I love this piece, sounds great, very well done in every way. A pleasure to listen. Thanks...
Marc
Check out my latest song called Un jour de d├ęcembre
Catalina22 said 2459 days ago (January 25th, 2011)
Thanks!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment and for the listen. :)
Check out my latest song called The REAL Plant that Geranium! (Mood Ring Mix)
FatherTime said 2304 days ago (June 30th, 2011)
trees that yield citrus fruits fascinate me
This was atmosphere in an insidious way, the beginning section gave the effect of somebody in pursuit on a fun spy mission. The middle section led to a Hot Chocolate sounding riff which was a nice ensemble of sounds. It ended too suddenly, I wanted one more section. :)
Check out my latest song called I Can't Say
PaddyNavinCaryatid said 2293 days ago (July 10th, 2011)
Electropop
I've only strayed into Electropop once myself (Stonehearted) and even then I drenched it with distorted guitar. I like this, reminds me of a more sophisticated take on the old Amiga demo scene. Has a cinematic quality about it too, which I dig. Great choices of textures and nice progressions, especially dig the arpeggios at 2:28. Isn't it so much more fulfilling to have created rather than cut and pasted. No mater how good a song made of loops, you're starting with someone else's creation. This is all your own and better for it. Bravo.
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jibes said 2285 days ago (July 18th, 2011)
#:)
Your too hard on yourself. I like your song and remember, it's the end product that counts.
Good job!
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Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Cort
Location: Eaton Colorado United States
send a note
I am like Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous"--fundamentally uncool. I have been trying very hard to be one of the cool kids for about thirty years now, but I think it's time to throw in the towel in put my energies into elevating Loser-dom into a state... [see more]

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Genre Info
Electropop (also called Technopop) is a subgenre of synth pop music which flourished during the early 1980s, although the first recordings were made in the late 1970s. Numerous bands have carried on the electropop tradition into the 1990s and 2000s.

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